Joshua: Welcome. We’re excited for TableThink’s official launch. And . . . We’re grateful and excited for you to join us.
I’m Joshua Lindley. Kerrie Palmer and I are the co-creators of TableThink’s organization and co-hosts of our online community.
I was born and raised in Arkansas. Oregon is now my home. And, though I love the Pacific Northwest, my Southern ways remain in me. Two of the most valuable lessons I learned from my early years was to be a southern gentleman and to make a difference in the world. I graduated from Southern Nazarene University and completed the ordination process to become a pastor. During my college years, I served churches and chased after the biggest storms. Chasing storms is one of the best hobbies I’ve ever had.
Kerrie: I’m Kerrie Palmer. Joshua–I love your stories about chasing storms. I can’t wait for everyone to hear more about them. Anyway . . . My home has always been in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in a time of turbulence and prejudice. Out of the chaos of the times, significant influencers taught me to value everybody and to serve with the mission to make life better for others.
These two life-lessons were a part of my call to become a pastor. But. I was told women could not lead a church.
I became a registered nurse until the door opened to join a church staff. After my youngest entered high school, I attended George Fox Seminary, earned my Masters of Divinity, and completed the ordination process. Though I’ve walked through open doors, I’ve continued to encounter prejudice and prejudgement against me because of my gender.
Joshua: I’ve been with you in ministry situations where you’ve been treated differently because you’re a woman. It has surprised me. Actually, I came to your church because I was asked to be a secret church shopper to evaluate you and your team. You were the first woman I heard preach.
It became a catalyst to where we are now.
Kerrie: I remember trying to figure out who you were during the service; however, you and your wife, Louise, left before I had the opportunity to talk. Looking back to that Sunday, I see how clueless we were to the significance of your visit. It is one more thing which reveals how God sets us up for something more every. single. day.
Anyway . . .
I loved the conversation we had a few months later when I called you. A mutual friend gave me your name and number as a possible person to lead worship at the church. I called out of desperation on that Thursday because I needed you that Sunday. You downplayed your expertise by telling me you were just a “guy with a guitar. “
We connected immediately, which is so important for the lead pastor and worship pastor. So. We arranged for you to lead worship for one more Sunday, then three Sundays, and then finally three months.
Joshua: Finally? You have never used the word, “finally” with me. Here we are–so there’s been no “finally.”
Kerrie: You make me laugh. Seriously, I had good intentions. The thing is . . . God connected us for more than we ever had thought about . . . or imagined. How this all happened is such a good lesson in understanding how often humanity is unaware of the significance of each moment.
Joshua: It’s cool how we formed a great friendship and working relationship, which ultimately led to the formation of TableThink. Only, God could have orchestrated this whole thing. It’s crazy how our stories connected before we met. We both served at the same church but different decades – we both planted a church, but at different times.
Kerrie: Seriously, our situation underlines how God is simultaneously at work in our “now” and “not-yet.” The thing is . . . I had the dream of planting and leading a church . . . at age sixteen. When our team and I received the go-ahead to plant the church from denominational leaders, I could hardly believe it. I waited a lifetime. They told me it was to be a “church of one hundred years.” I’ve kept these words close to me.
Joshua: I loved planting a church; however, circumstances beyond our control made it clear the church had to be closed. So. I had no desire to be a part of another church plant.
Kerrie: I understand. You invested your “all.” Planting a church is an emotional, mental, and physical challenge. It requires more than most realize. At the same time, it’s an amazing experience.
Being the founding pastor of the Red Door Church has been a miracle in my life. I would have stayed if, it had been at all possible. The decision to step down from my role came about because I had a health situation which clearly needed to be managed differently. A strong leader makes the decision based on what’s best rather than settling for less. So. I made the decision.
Joshua: It’s definitely hard when a pastor steps down. It’s common for church attendance to decline because people leave when their leader leaves. The challenge for a young community of faith is multiplied because the foundation is still being built. I stayed for interim and a short time after the new pastor began serving; however, I knew my call was to start TableThink with you. I would not have been able to give my best to both. It was hard but I had to make the decision based on what I am called to do.
Kerrie: It’s the “first thing” principle. When we’re busy with many things, we are distracted, missing our best. Our “first thing” is produced from our God-given purpose rather than from trying to please everyone. When we focus on our first thing, we live our best.
Joshua: So. Here we go. TableThink is a daily source for inspirational information, innovative ideas, and a new kind of community connection. The TableThink team will provide articles, artwork, coaching, courses, podcasts, and videos for your personal development and growth with an emphasis on faith. You are invited to take a seat at TableThink’s viritual table and discover more for your life.
For more . . . listen to our TableThink podcast and our Think On This podcast . . . and stay tuned for more of our story.
Did you know you can install TableThink on an Amazon Echo device and listen to Think On This?
1.) Open your Amazon Alexa app on your phone.
2.) Click on the Menu – Select Skills & Games.
3.) Search for TableThink.
4.) Select to Install the Skill.
5.) Listen to the latest from your Alexa. Simply say “Alexa, tell me the news from TableThink”. Alexa will play the latest episodes you have not listened to. When you are finished simply say “Alexa, Stop”.
If you have any questions or issues let us know via our contact form.